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How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Black Shirts

There’s no need to be embarrassed by your laundry with this easy and effective way to remove deodorant stains from black shirts and white ones as well.

Have you ever wondered how to remove deodorant stain buildup from shirts?

That nasty armpit stain can be enough to make you want to throw out your clothes but now, with this stain removal tip, you don’t have to.

This easy how-to even works on old deodorant stains and even though I show a black shirt, it will work wonders on a white shirt as well.

This Method Will Help to Remove the Problem Laundry Stains Listed Below:

  • Underarm deodorant stains on dark clothing
  • Deodorant buildup from clothes in the underarm area
  • Antiperspirant stains
  • White underarm stains on dark clothing
  • White deodorant stains
  • Yellow sweat stains
  • Stains from natural deodorant

If any of the above laundry problems sound familiar to you this solution will work. It has helped me to save many a t-shirt, black shirt, and dark dress shirt from the trash bin.

How This All Started

One day while we were out grocery shopping, I noticed a particularly significant build-up of antiperspirant deodorant stains on my husband’s black t-shirt when he was reaching for some crackers on a high shelf at the market. It bothered me to no end.

When we got home, I took a look at our laundry.

While looking at our shirts, some of what I noticed was a type of yellow stain from sweating, some of the stains were deodorant marks, some were just icky pit stains, and some were plain old deodorant build up.

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I tried using my regular stain remover and I tried scrubbing those areas with my favorite laundry detergent but nothing seemed to work well on this type of stubborn stain.

Since I didn’t want to throw out all of our shirts I decided to do some research and experimenting to see if I could find anything that really worked and, thankfully, I did.

Using the same techniques I used to figure out how to remove blood stains from fabric, I went to work on these stains trying baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and more of my standard go-tos and then hit upon the perfect combination.

Supplies Needed to Remove Deodorant Stains:

  • small scrubbing brush that will easily work in the palm of your hand and in smaller areas
  • baking soda
  • vinegar – if you’re in a pinch you can substitute apple cider vinegar
  • dry towel

All you need for this pit stain (no matter what kind) miracle worker is baking soda, vinegar, and a small scrubbing brush. A brush like this one works best. I like to keep one in my kitchen for scrubbing pots, pans, and dishes, and the other I set aside just for laundry. 

Trial and Error

The first time I did this I treated and scrubbed the outside armpit area of the shirt which doesn’t make me the sharpest knife in the drawer but it still worked somewhat so there’s that.  

Going forward though, and what I am recommending to you, is that you turn the shirt inside out to remove deodorant build-up and any sweat stain. It’s best to have direct contact with the problem area, the area of the build-up or stains.  

So, now that that’s settled, ignore the fact that the shirt in these pictures is right side out. Turn your piece of clothing inside out for best results.


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Let’s Get to Work and Remove Deodorant Stains

Sprinkle baking soda over build up and stain.

Place the shirt on a dry towel, folded in half (the towel will be folded in half, not the shirt).

Generously sprinkle baking soda on the area of the build-up.

This is such an easy way to get rid of underarm deodorant build up from dark clothing and it works!

Scrub lightly with a scrubber gently working the baking soda into the fabric and then pour vinegar directly on top of the baking soda

Baking soda and vinegar working on the stain.

There will be a cool eruption, bubbling, and gurgling. Let the chemical reaction work its magic for a few minutes before proceeding to the next step.

How to remove deodorant stains from clothing.

If you’re so inclined have your littles watch the process and tell them it’s a science experiment. They’ll get a kick out of it and think you’re super cool.

Once the eruption and chemical process has stopped, scrub the area once again using a scrubbing brush and then wash as usual with your regular laundry detergent.

The after photo of the underarm area on my husband's shirt.

The Results

I was really happy at how well this worked and how little effort it took.  My husband’s shirts look wearable again and I don’t have to cause a distraction when we’re out so people look at me and not the white stains. Okay, so they weren’t that bad but I do feel much better now.

As a side note, I have also tried chlorine bleach when attempting to remove these types of stains from a white shirt and did not find it to be effective and I would definitely NEVER use chlorine bleach on a dark shirt or clothing.

Baking soda and vinegar working on the stain.
Yield: One

How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Dark Clothes

Active Time: 1 minute
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1.00

How to remove deodorant stains from black shirts, deodorant buildup, antiperspirant stains, and pit stains from white shirts as well.

Materials

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar

Tools

  • Small Wooden Scrubbing Brush

Instructions

  1. Turn clothing inside out.
  2. Generously sprinkle baking soda on the area of the build-up.
  3. Scrub lightly with a scrubber gently working the baking soda into the fabric and then pour vinegar directly on top of the baking soda
  4. There will be a cool eruption, bubbling, and gurgling. Let the chemical reaction work its magic for a few minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Once the eruption and chemical process has stopped, scrub the area once again using a scrubbing brush and then wash as usual.

Notes

I didn't worry about anything happening to my husband's shirt when I set out on this experiment because I had nothing to lose but you may opt to test the vinegar and baking soda on an inconspicuous area of your clothing first before taking the plunge. 

Recommended Products

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Did you try this?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag #thehowtohome to let me know!

Before you throw out that shirt try this simple laundry hack to remove white and crusted underarm deodorant buildup easily.

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LAUra

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

You mention baking power and baking soda. Is it baking soda to use?

Thanks.

Mary Beth

Tuesday 5th of May 2020

Hello Laura. Thank you so much for letting me know that there was an error in the post. It is baking soda and not baking powder.

7 Ways to Remove Deodorant Stains from Black Shirts - Howto

Sunday 21st of April 2019

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Sunday 27th of January 2019

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